SOUTHSEA businesses saw takings soar and welcomed huge numbers of visitors during the America’s Cup World Series spectacle.
Traders say it was a great weekend as they entertained international guests who poured in to the area to watch the sailing competition.
Andre Guedeney, owner of Andre’s Food Bar, in Osborne Road, said he was packed out with visitors looking for something to eat.
He said: ‘It was certainly busier in the area than last year and hopefully they will keep coming back.
‘It brings a lot of business into the city, just about everyone benefits from it.
‘People from all over Europe came here.
‘People from the Land Rover BAR team base came in and we have been feeding the contractors who set up the arenas.
‘There was a lot more positivity than last year.’
Street artist Fark – full name Mark Jones – runs Tea Tray cafe with his wife Nicky, in Osborne Road.
Mark said: ‘It was totally rammed. We were really busy.
‘The America’s Cup definitely contributed to that.
‘We had people in who came here last year for the cup – my wife has a photographic memory and was able to remember everyone.
‘It was great to attract that repeat business.
‘We had press from Barcelona come in for both days.
‘Having the America’s Cup for two years in a row has been great for us.’
Steffan Jones, manager of The Meat and Barrel, in Palmerston Road, Southsea, said: ‘It’s been great.
‘We were a lot busier, and had a lot of people in over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and also Monday when people were still around.
‘It was a brilliant event; it’s helped us and Southsea in general immensely.
‘It makes the summer feel so much more worthwhile from our perspective.’
Martyn Brigden, who works at The Barley Mow pub, in Castle Road, said: ‘Friday and Saturday were busy for us, there were more people around, that’s the feedback I’ve received. I think these kind of events are great for the area, it brings people in and they want to come back.
‘We attract people who walk back from the common and pop in for a pint.’
Drift Bar, in Palmerston Road, served up America’s Cup-themed cocktails to guests. Drift manager Sam Whitmore said visitor numbers were steady – but added that many kept to the seafront on Saturday because of the great weather.
And Gunwharf Quays welcomed a record number of visitors during the America’s Cup.
Colin Wilding, general manager at Gunwharf Quays, said bars and restaurants were ‘extremely busy’ as tens of thousands of spectators came to enjoy racing in the Solent.
Mr Wilding said: ‘We welcomed a record number of visitors this weekend, with the America’s Cup World Series helping to showcase Portsmouth to a global audience.
‘Guests at Gunwharf Quays enjoyed watching the action on big screens situated in the centre, whilst making the most of the sunshine and shopping, eating and relaxing in our wonderful waterfront location.
‘In addition to extended opening hours and the unique Land Rover Experience, with the main event finishing at 6pm this year, our 30 bars and restaurants were extremely busy with spectators enjoying al-fresco dining on the waterfront.’